As I witnessed how fast AI tools are unfolding for the public to use, literally for everything, I found myself thinking, why do people get so excited about it? It seems the main reason is the ease of use and the availability of high-value results. To put it simply, it’s a freebie! Even if the result is clearly a compilation of copyright infringement, it’s a freebie. I would even say that most of the folks who tried Midjourney could say that they have this sort of gut feeling that the result is a bargain. They would never get the same result otherwise, this cheap. So why should artists comply with this? Why should we be complicit?
As for Generative AI, I see how words such as “machine learning” or “training” could create an impression of some sort of personality. People now, in all seriousness, compare it to real artists and how they create their artwork. Generative AI is a collage tool built to be a parasite in the art world. Please be careful when comparing it to real people.
Now, imagine this freebie is being used by a business. Imagine if a business entity hires a collage tool instead of real artists to pitch a game idea. Is there any way to protect these artists? The image above is a set of AI-generated game assets created using Midjourney V.4.
Many different art communities are currently struggling with this ethical conundrum. I really appreciate how artists are standing together for their rights, particularly on ArtStation. Please see the illustrations above that were made in protest of ArtStation’s policy. Artists from all spectrums of creative professional fields are now discussing this issue.
Cover image from Terminator 2 John Connor’s Parents scene
Principles of Technorealism
“Unprecedented open-source software piracy” lawsuit
Battle ArtStation with its content creators
Advocacy for human artists
Full list of all AI tools available for general public
The Washington Post about the stolen art